Filtered by author: Steve Sidley

Chinese in Africa
Posted: 11 April 2008

Chinese entrepeneurs drive the Malaysian economy - they are disliked by the Malaysian population and have sufffered politcally expedient violence in the past.

Or one can also look to the Indians in Amin-era Uganda. They underpinned much of the economy, and got the boot. Or Kenya, from where I have just returned. Indians seem to own every important business.

I think the scenario painted is ...

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MindBullet logo CHINA: THE NEW COLONIAL POWER
Vicious new wars at home and abroad
Dateline: 2 May 2020
"The Chinese are the new boers!" screamed a May Day rally poster in last night's CNN webcast from South Africa's resource heartland. Hundreds of thousands of workers have downed tools in the mining and financial services industries over the past week and the strikes don't look like they will end any time soon. Reminiscent of the Tibetan uprisings that started in 2008 the Chinese in ...
genomes/telomeres
Posted: 7 January 2008 1 Comment

Co-incidentally have just read this after spending the Christmas vacation reading Genome by Matt Ridley, of which much is written about telomeres and age. The flaw in this argument is that adults have to stay alive to about 35 to 40 to nurture offspring to an independent surivable age. So if life span was reduced below 35, well...goodbye species, courtesy adaptive evolution.

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MindBullet logo LIFE EXPECTANCY LEVELS OFF AT 25
Government and business leaders now in their teens
Dateline: 1 April 2050
The cordial questions asked during Prime Minister's Question Time yesterday proved that this has been an interesting few decades. For the first time in almost 30 years the first hint of raw criticism has emerged again. With the eco-wars of 2020 now a distant memory, their impact continues to be felt even though the slide in life expectancy has been halted. The flu epidemics that hit world ...
internet down
Posted: 18 October 2007 1 Comment

The nature of the Internet makes this scenario unlkely (too many flavours of web servers at too many locations, on too many backbones, subnets and rendundant pathways), except in one scenario. This is a successful attack on the root servers that sit at the top of the hierarchy (controlled by a US organization, I think). These are highly protected, redundantly architected, sitting in ...

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MindBullet logo INTERNET GOES OFFLINE
Global emergency spreads like a digital wildfire
Dateline: 21 December 2010
It's been 24 hours since the internet stopped dead. For the past day not a single email message has been delivered and no e-business transaction has been executed. It is still not clear exactly what combination of server gridlock and multiple virus attacks has caused the problem. In an unprecedented show of unity, hackers and business geeks have united on those mobile phone networks not ...
The mythical network computer
Posted: 6 September 2007 2 Comments

40% of Korean homes and reportedly 80% of businesses have 50+Mbs fibre connections, and this scenario has not come to pass at all. Here is why:

1) People still want PCs, because there will ALWAYS be occasions to be offline - in which case still want to access to your services and hard drive. Mobilty mitigates against he network computer, even in the face of new hi speed wireless IP ...

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MindBullet logo DATA CENTERS DISAPPEAR, WEB SERVERS GO VIRTUAL
Amazon, Google and eBay dominate internet hardware
Dateline: 5 September 2009
Why buy cows when all you need is milk? Have you noticed how no-one buys any server hardware anymore? In fact, I can't remember the last time a company or corporation actually shelled out for infrastructure, except for being connected to the 'net. IBM, Dell and HP now only have three customers for their servers - besides the banks and a few other paranoid institutions. Everyone else just ...
Murdoch
Posted: 27 August 2007 1 Comment

hmm. The users that were responsible for the social networking phenomenon are not to be underestimated. Any hint of 'big corporateness' and they may flee (the primary reason that Microsoft's faliling attempts in this space has failed, is that they are seen as grey suits).

There is far less stickiness in this stuff than one might think, and a viral anti-Murdoch campaign, plus a cool new place ...

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MindBullet logo MURDOCH CREATES FULL MONTY
Digital swoop 'completes' media and retail empire
Dateline: 1 April 2010
In a brilliant swoop on the jewels of the digital world, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has seized control of the top auctions, payments, video and communication platforms to add to their powerful global news and social networks. eBay's 35% stock price dip due to recent rumors of drug trafficking on the auction site was too much for his investment bankers to resist. Their hostile bid shocked ...
Seld repairing materials
Posted: 5 July 2007 1 Comment

Fascinating, although I suspect the evolution of this technology will be in other areas. Much like the laser, which ended up being used for stuff that nobody had dreamed of, this technology will probably not end up being used for cosmetic purposes (cars and clothes), but for structural integrity and the like.

Anybody wanna bet me a new car on this? ...

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MindBullet logo NEW CAR SALES SLUMP AS OLD CARS STAY NEW
These autos refuse to age - they just repair themselves
Dateline: 19 June 2012
Another new car dealer has gone bust trying to sell the latest models. One can hardly be surprised, as pre-owned vehicles look factory fresh. The secret is in the new DentFree body panels, which lose scratches and marks in a matter of hours, and repair dings and dents overnight. Based on the latest smart organic polymers from DuPont, these panels are made of self-healing materials that ...
Skype Credits vs Vodacash vs national payment
Posted: 7 June 2007

There have been literally hundreds of global attempts a e-wallets in the last 10 years (I have personally been involved in 2 of them, one here, and one the Philippines). THe problem has always been threefold.
1) How do you fund the wallet? (usually from a credit card, which makes it a non-starter in SA and Africa - too few with credit cards).
2) How do you redeem value? - need merchants to ...

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MindBullet logo IT'S SKYPE CREDITS VS VODACASH IN THE NEW VIRTUAL BANKING WAR
Taxman loses in the race to dominate the online payments market
Dateline: 9 February 2010
Since eBay and PayPal allowed users to charge and pay with Skype credits, the banks and credit card companies have been running scared. That was until Nokia, Visa and Vodafone launched their VodaCash global payments platform. Now it's an all out war for the payments standard of the future, while Second Life waits in the wings with Linden Dollars. Traditional banking is dead - long live ...
What belongs to a country?
Posted: 24 May 2007 6 Comments

This MB raises the question of whether natural resources under the ground can actually be 'owned' by a country. It is common cause that countries have laid claim to their in-border assets (oil being the most obvious).

But in a world where there is globalisation of energy mixed in with climate change imperatives and growing populations, it seems rational to argue that these assets ...

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MindBullet logo FRANCE CHAMPIONS INVASION OF UZBEKISTAN TO SECURE OIL
Sarkozy rejoins NATO to sideline Russia
Dateline: 2 January 2008
Nicolas Sarkozy, new president of the French Republic, has wasted no time in building bridges with the world's most powerful nation. When the most recent ultimatum with Uzbekistan passed with no signs of their acquiescing to the EU’s demand that they unblock gas supplies to Europe, France’s response was swift. "The time has passed when rogue nations can rely on the disagreements of ...
Google Earth Monopoly
Posted: 17 April 2007 1 Comment

Raises all sorts of interesting questions about who owns virtual space. If Google maintains control of a de- facto virtual earth, and that virtual earth attracts denizens, advertising and commerce, the spectre of a truly massive commerical monolopy looms.

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MindBullet logo GOOGLE EARTH WORLD'S SIXTH BIGGEST ECONOMY
Virtual world covers two-thirds of the 'real' world
Dateline: 7 June 2017
Google Earth's virtual online buildings, designed and built by the in-world residents, now cover most of the developed world and all major tourism destinations. The annual value of e-commerce and online financial services makes it the planet's sixth biggest economy. Google's 3D view of the world, using satellite imagery, was too big to turn into a detailed representation of every building ...
Democracy creates monster
Posted: 14 December 2006

Aah, the great adversarial tension between the protection of minorities and the tyranny of the majority. So shall it always be. It is a good monster because it changes shape with the zeitgeist of the times.

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MindBullet logo DEMOCRACY CREATES MONSTER
Has our obsession with minority rights destroyed individual freedoms?
Dateline: 12 December 2010
The EU is in a quandary. The US legal system is tangled in a two-year impasse. South Africa's new president scrambles their young constitution. In late 2006 the EU introduced its new Sexual Orientation Regulations, as part of the Equality Act. It became discriminatory to provide any goods and services on the grounds of anyone being heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. In the US, despite ...

Filtered by author: Steve Sidley